Key works closely with emerging and established life sciences companies developing therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies. Key helps clients structure and complete critical transactions, from in-licensing patents that form the foundation of the companies’ patent portfolio, through services arrangements with CMOs, CROs and other development partners, and eventually toward commercial partnering of the program, sale of the company or other exit transactions. In addition to licensing collaborations, Key supports venture financings—representing both startups and venture capital firms—as well as mergers and acquisitions matters.

Key has experience structuring joint development arrangements between collaborators coming from both similar and widely disparate core technological competencies, often involving complex IP allocation issues. He assists companies in establishing long-term research collaborations with universities that go beyond typical sponsored research and technical services agreements. Key also works with research accelerators working in innovative ways to facilitate collaborative research among investigators from different research institutions worldwide, successfully navigating the conflicting IP, publication and liability positions of participating institutions.

Prior to joining Fenwick, Key was a partner at a global law firm. He also previously served as the associate general counsel for a public biotech company.

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  • Representative Transactions*
    • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in collaboration and supply agreements with Moderna and the Ministry of Health, Labour & Welfare of Japan for the clinical development, regulatory approval, supply and distribution of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine in Japan
    • International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) in collaboration with Merck KGaA and Serum Institute of India to develop SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (developed by IAVI and Scripps Research)
    • Xencor in a strategic collaboration and license agreement with Atreca to research, develop and commercialize T cell engaging bispecific antibody therapeutics in oncology
    • Takeda Pharmaceutical Company in its license and collaboration arrangement with Novavax for production and commercialization of Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate
    • Engage Therapeutics, developer of Staccato® Alprazolam for rapid termination of an active epileptic seizure, by UCB Pharma for $125M with up to $145M in milestone payments.
    • Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group in a strategic collaboration, exclusive license and supply agreement with EQRx for the development and commercialization by EQRx of Hansoh’s almonertinib in the United States, Europe and Japan
    • OliX Pharmaceuticals in an exclusive license and supply agreement with AM Chemicals for GalNAc conjugate technology and materials for OliX’s asymmetric small interfering RNA (asiRNA) for liver targeting
    • Antares Pharma in its agreement with Idorsia Pharmaceuticals for the development of a novel drug device combination product to be developed for the treatment of suspected acute myocardial infarction
    • Dewpoint Therapeutics in its option, research and license agreement with Bayer valued up to $100M that will leverage Dewpoint’s proprietary platform for biomolecular condensates and Bayer’s small molecule compound library to develop new treatments for cardiovascular and gynecological diseases
    • Celgene Corporation in its amended collaboration agreement with Editas Medicine, which allows the parties to research, develop and commercialize autologous and allogeneic alpha-beta T cell medicines for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, and enables Editas Medicine to receive an upfront payment of $70M as well as potential future milestones and royalty payments
    • Gilead Sciences in its research and development collaboration valued up to $475M with Carna Biosciences to develop and commercialize small molecule compounds in immuno-oncology and to access Carna's proprietary lipid kinase drug discovery platform
    • Antares Pharma in its agreement with Pfizer to develop a combination drug device overdose rescue pen under which Pfizer will develop and commercialize the product in the U.S. and Antares will receive royalties on net sales
    • Talee Bio, a gene therapy company developing the next generation treatment and cures for cystic fibrosis, in its sale to Roivant Sciences
    • Merck in an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement with Cocrystal Pharma research, development and commercialization of antiviral therapeutics including for influenza, hepatitis C and noroviruses
    • Xencor in a collaboration agreement with Astellas to generate bispecific antibodies directed toward a selected tumor target using Xencor’s modular antibody engineering platform for the treatment of cancer
    • Humabs BioMed, a spinoff from the Institute of Biomedical Research Bellinzona, Switzerland, developing monoclonal antibody therapeutics, in its acquisition by Vir Biotechnology
    • Natera in its agreement with Qiagen to develop cell-free DNA assays for use on Qiagen’s GeneReader NGS System for prenatal screening
    • AxeroVision in its spinout from GSK with certain ophthalmic assets, with investment and license arrangement with Laboratoires Thea
    • Ash Stevens, a Michigan-based contract process development and manufacturing organization, in its acquisition by India-based Piramal Enterprises
    • CrystalGenomics in a license, development and commercialization agreement on cancer therapeutic lead with Aptose
    • Gilead Sciences in a license and collaboration agreement with MicroDose Therapeutx to develop and commercialize MicroDose’s inhalable small molecule antiviral fusion inhibitor for the treatment of respiratory syncytial virus infections
    • Novadaq Technologies in a multiyear license and development agreement with Intuitive Surgical to integrate Novadaq’s SPY fluorescence imaging technology into the 3D, high-definition imaging capabilities of Intuitive’s da Vinci® Surgical Robot Systems
    • Topcon Medical Laser Systems, Inc. in its acquisition of therapeutic laser technologies and retina and glaucoma business of OptiMedica Corporation
    • Ash Stevens, Inc. in commercial supply agreement with Pharmion (subsequently acquired by Celgene) for API for Vidaza®
    • Novadaq Corp. in its acquisition of exclusive United States distribution rights for PLC Medical System’s HEART LASERTM SYSTEM for transmyocardial revascularization (TMR) from Edwards Lifesciences
    • Chiron Corporation (now part of Novartis) in a license agreement with Cubist Pharmaceuticals to develop and commercialize Cubicin® (Daptomycin for injection), an antibiotic approved for treatment of complicated skin and skin structure infections caused by gram-positive bacteria
    • InSite Vision Incorporated in a collaboration with Bausch & Lomb for the development and commercialization of a fourth-generation fluoroquinolone combined with InSite Vision’s proprietary ophthalmic drug delivery technology
    • Konica Minolta in a comprehensive business partnership and capital investment agreement with Konarka Technologies for the development and distribution of organic thin-film photovoltaics
    • Nuvelo (formerly Hyseq Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) in a collaboration with Amgen to develop and commercialize Alfimeprase, a novel acting thrombolytic, for the treatment of catheter occlusion and peripheral arterial occlusion
    • MediGene in a license agreement with the University of Chicago for targeting methodology to increase the efficiency of MediGene’s oncolytic herpes simplex virus therapy under phase I/II development

    * Includes experience from a previous firm

Education & Admissions

J.D., University of Victoria, British Columbia

B.Sc., Biology, Queen’s University, Canada

Admitted to practice in California


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